Republicans deny Schiavo memo

April 6, 2005 at 2:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- All 55 Republican U.S. senators have denied seeing a Terri Schiavo political talking points memo, the Washington Times said Wednesday.

Democrats had alleged the memo was circulated among Republicans during the floor debate over whether the federal government should intervene to prolong the life of the brain-damaged Florida woman. She died last week, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed and 15 years after a heart attack and subsequent brain damage left her in what doctors described as a persistent vegetative state.

The memo has been cited repeatedly by columnists as evidence Republicans were trying to exploit the family's court battle over the removal of Schiavo's life support.

Every Republican questioned by the Times denied crafting or distributing the memo. They also denied having seen it until it became the subject of media speculation.

The Times said it also surveyed the Democratic senators and the chamber's one independent. It said only one of them, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, said through a spokeswoman he saw it circulated on the Senate floor.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., has called for the Senate Rules and Administration Committee to investigate.

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